The ultimate reality TV experiment, Big Brother, returned to our screens six weeks ago after a five-year break.
Sixteen housemates were chosen – after 18,000 people applied – to battle it out to win £100,000, with AJ Odudu and Will Best hosting proceedings.
The first person to enter the house for the 2023 ITV series was Jenkin, 25. He screamed… a lot. “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Why is it so big?” he yelled, to himself, as he ran around the house.
Throughout the past six weeks, there have been doomed love triangles, unexpected double evictions and divisive squabbles over oat milk as the number of housemates was whittled down to the final five. The public will decide tonight (17 November) whether Olivia, Henry, Noky, Jordan or Yinrun deserve to win the £100,000 prize money.
The Big Brother finale airs on ITV1 tonight at 9pm. Follow The Independent’s live coverage here.
Here’s everything you need to know about the final five remaining housemates...
Hailing from Harrogate, Yinrun is a 25-year-old customer support agent. “My boyfriend would describe me in three words – quirky but lovable,” she said. “My friends in China think I am like the crazy mother because I always take care of them. I’m very playful.” She added that her dream housemate would be the comedian Michael McIntyre. “I would love to meet him. He is so hilarious!”
The 25-year-old lawyer from Scunthorpe said: “I was quite disillusioned with life so I suppose boredom made me apply to some extent. I honestly applied on a whim. I’m interested in the social experiments side of Big Brother. I don’t really like the idea of living with people but I thought I might as well give it a try. And I wanted to challenge myself.”
The 26-year-old banker from Derby is a former Miss Great Britain. She said: “I want to show people what pageant girls are really like and disprove a lot of stereotypes around them. I also want to show what it’s like being a woman who’s worked in male-dominated fields. I want to show that women are capable of doing anything they want.”
Henry, 25 and from the Cotswolds, said he is “really looking forward to learning lots of life skills, like learning how to cook, clean, or do the washing”. He is a food writer. He added: “I’m 25 but I’m not an adult. These are some big things they don’t teach you at school that I need to learn. And also just getting to know loads of different people from very different backgrounds that I might not get to meet in my everyday life.”
Glaswegian contestant Olivia, 23, is a dancer. She said an interesting fact about herself is that she has a fear of jam. On the most likely reason she’ll be nominated, she said: “I think when people are in that hangry state, that’s when I’ll wind people up and grind their gears. I think they’ll nominate me for being full on, and for my brutal honesty and oversharing of opinions.”
Meet all of the housemates who have been evicted so far...
Jenkin – EVICTED
The 25-year-old barman from Bridgend said his friends would describe him as “loud and messy and irritating probably”. On what he predicts he’ll be nominated for, he said: “Just talking about people, I’m not gonna lie. I can’t keep secrets, I really struggle.” He joked that his dream housemate would be Queen of Clean Kim Woodburn as she’d do all the housework.
Farida – EVICTED
The makeup artist from Wolverhampton, 50, said she chose to go on Big Brother because she believes that “Asian women and Asian culture is underrepresented on TV”. She added: “A lot of people think that wearing a headscarf might stop you from having opportunities, whereas for me, it’s been completely the opposite. I embrace it with confidence and it’s actually given me lots of opportunities. I want to let people know that us Muslims, we really aren’t suppressed. I’m far from suppressed – I used to be a holiday rep!”
Tom – EVICTED
Somerset butcher Tom, 21, said he thinks he “might potentially offend some people” on the show because his “mouth moves faster than” his brain. He said he was excited to go into the house to “sit there and chat s*** with people all day”. His dream housemate, he said, would be Karl Pilkington. “I love him, he’s just a laugh.”
Hallie - EVICTED
The 18-year-old youth worker from London isn’t a total stranger to fame. “I once accidentally swallowed magnets and I was in the news because I had to get them surgically removed and everything!” she said. Hallie added that she is most likely to be nominated for “being lazy and having an opinion”. Since being on the show, Hallie has come out to her fellow housemates as transgender.
Trish – EVICTED
Trish is a 33-year-old mother from Luton. She said that a big part of why she wanted to go on the show is to “humanise refugees and immigrants, especially in this political climate”. She added: “I want people to see that behind the stats and figures, there are real humans. We are important simply because we exist, not only when we participate in capitalism. We matter because we are alive and breathing – no human is illegal!”
Zak - EVICTED
Zak is a 28-year-old model from Manchester. He said he grew up in the jungle in Thailand and when he was a kid he “used to collect snakes and everything”. He added: “People might judge me because I’m a model. People often have a misconception but I’m a council estate boy. I’m not like a typical model, I’m a down to earth guy. People assume I’m arrogant but when they actually get to know me I’ve got a lot more to offer.”
Chanelle – EVICTED
Llanelli dental therapist Chanelle, 29, said she “applied as a joke”. On what she reckons she’d be nominated for, she said: “Probably just for being annoying. In Wales, we have this saying, ‘I’ll do it now in a minute.’ So like, if I went to make food and I left a dish on the side, I have all good intentions of washing it but I’d be like, ‘I’ll do it now in a minute,’ and it might be three hours later before I do it. So probably for silly stuff like that.”
Dylan – EVICTED
Dylan is a 39-year-old DJ from Coventry. He said: “I always like meeting new people and having new hurdles to jump as an amputee. It’s going to be an interesting journey to see if I can do whatever we’re asked without having any problems with staying on my leg for a certain amount of time and doing all the tasks. I’m excited for the challenge.”
Matty – EVICTED
A doctor from Isle of Mann, 24-year-old Matty said doing Big Brother is part of his bid to “experience everything before I die”. He said: “I used to watch Big Brother when I was like, 9 or 10 past my bedtime with my mum. I grew up in such a small place on the Isle of Man where I didn’t really see many people who felt like me. I remember watching Big Brother and I could see myself in all these characters from a cross section of society, and I thought like, oh, maybe I would fit in there.”
Paul – EVICTED
Paul is a 23-year-old security officer from Liverpool. On how his friends and family would describe him, he said: “Extroverted to say the least. A bit nuts but also the agony aunt, like I’ll sit and speak with them but I’ll also take the piss out of them.” He said he is most likely to be nominated for “being the biggest wind up, eating all the food and being the loudest housemate”.
Kerry – EVICTED
Kerry is a 40-year-old NHS manager from Essex. On why she applied to Big Brother, she said: “I love the programme. It is, for me, the ultimate reality TV show ever. I’ve got multiple sclerosis and so the reason why I never applied before is because I always saw those whacking great big stairs to get into the house. It just felt a little bit unachievable because for the first three years of my illness I was in a wheelchair. When I saw it was coming back and searching for real people from all walks of life, I thought, this is my year.”
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